For those that have never cruised, or don’t know what I mean when I say, “shore excursions”, shore excursions are the guided activities that are available to cruise passengers at every port call. With most cruise companies, these are not included in the cruise package. Therefore, they are an additional cost to your vacations. To give you an idea, examples of shore excursions are:
- Swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean
- Dogsledding in Alaska
- Visiting Rome from the Civitavecchia port in Italy
Occasionally, you’ll cruise with a company where these activities are included in the cost of your cruise fare, but this usually occurs with luxury lines and/or river cruise companies. Often times, the cruise line will spend a lot of effort (and money) marketing their own shore excursions to you, as it is a major source of revenue for them. Many times they even go so far as to insight fear in passengers about booking shore excursions with third-parties (not the cruise line), saying that they’ll probably not make it back to the cruise ship on time and the cruise waits for no one! While it can be true, especially for local tour companies and/or new companies (and more prevalent in certain locations), there is a company that rises above these concerns and provides a superior and better-priced option for cruise passengers.
ShoreTrips is a worldwide shore excursion provider. They are family-owned and founded by two former travel agency owners, a husband and wife team. Many travel agents trust their clients to ShoreTrips, even over the excursions provided by the cruise lines. I am one of them. There are many reasons for this. I decided to ask my colleagues in the industry why they prefer to book their clients with ShoreTrips. So, if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out what these amazing travel professionals said.
- Smaller Groups – “We actually did the same tour with the cruise line and then did it two years later with ShoreTrips. Instead of a big charter bus with 50 people, we went in a small minivan with just our group of six and the tour was 150% better because we could hear the tour guide, we got to ask questions, we got to go at our group’s pace instead of the pace of the entire cruise group. Also, when we were taking pictures we didn’t have 100 people with us and we could also climb up and down the monuments at the Mayan ruins without having to be with so many other people.” – Sandy Switzer, Easy Breezy Cruise & Travel
- Better Price – “I just had a client book with ShoreTrips over the cruise line. Her reasons were that it was cheaper and the tours looked better, but the number one reason for her was that she could prepay for the excursions and not be billed on the ship. We (also) just booked a cruise with my family and they all wanted the ‘free shore excursions promo’ and I had to explain how it wasn’t free, just a small credit per cabin, not even per person, and they’d pay less through ShoreTrips even taking the cruise line credit into account and get better excursions.” – Kim Everett, Keepsake Travel® Designs.
- Guarantee to Get You Back on Ship – “ShoreTrips does know what time the ship arrives and departs… basically counter the cruise line claim that if you book the excursion with them that they will not leave you if running late.”– Tracy Schatz, Elite Travel Journeys “Takes good care of clients. Honors the same as cruise lines in getting you to next port if something happens.”– Jeanine Martin Fey, Cruise Planners
- Trusted Relationship with Travel Agents – “When a tour has to reschedule or cancel, they communicate with the agent as well as the client. (I had this happen in both Alaska and Hawaii due to schedule changes) Not even a blip to the client, it was all handled by ShoreTrips.”– Celeste Auger-Munshi, Indulgent Voyages
*I’m going to give this point extra credit because if a travel agent knows a client is having issues during their trip, they can take action to remedy the situation, whether that means re-booking alternatives or going to bat for you with the tour operator to make sure you’re taken care of!*
- Personal Attention – “They take pride in creating exceptional experiences — from Alaska, to Greece, to the Caribbean (even diving) to Australia and New Zealand. They have never let my clients or me down!” – Lu Ann Harris Haygood, Watercolor Travel “We’ve personally used them in Hawaii and Greece and have had clients use their services in Mexico. In Greece one of our drivers was the owner of the company and was raving about Barry & Julie (the owners) – they personally vetted their company.Impressive.”-Joan McGee Qualls, Tasteful Voyages Travel
So there you have it…eight out of eight (including me) travel experts agree that ShoreTrips is the company to go with for your next trip. Ask your friendly travel advisor (or, contact one of the travel advisors mentioned in this article) to help you book ShoreTrips excursions for your next cruise.
If your friendly travel advisor happens to be one of the advisors in the Kinship Vacations network, get your cruise vacation (shore excursions included) started by filling out our trip-planning form.
In the meantime….
P.S. If you’d like to take your next cruise as a group (10+), which is a great way to get deals on private shore excursions. consider yourself a group leader in the making! What does that mean? It means you can possibly earn free travel for yourself or others in the group, extra group perks, and/or potentially a share of revenuewith Kinship Vacations. Is there an important charitable cause in you and your group’s life?We can share our revenue with you to donate to that cause. What a nice way to spend a vacation, right? To get more info on our group travel opportunities, fill out our group trip leader form.
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